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Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...


2006-02-18 02:01:56 AM
delphi245
1. Unicode support in VCL for Win32 would have been a reality because
Borland would have leveraged their Windows monopoly to embrace and
extend Unicode to take over the world
2. Delphi users would be forced to use .NET and Win32 would be declared dead
.....
~J. Lee
Troy Wolbrink writes:
Quote
1. Unicode support in VCL for Win32 would have been a reality many years
ago - it is been a standard across MS apps/tools for many years now. MS
seems to "get" world-ready software and its huge benefits.

2. Resources would not have been wasted on Kylix, taken away from improving
Delphi for Win32. VCL would have wrapped even more Win32 native features.

3. A VCL.NET that provides a fairly thin layer over WinForms (and in future
a thin layer over WPF .NET controls). it is there to provide source/feature
compatability, but VCL.NET could use WinForm under the hood. VCL controls
could be used in WinForms.

4. "foreach..in" might have been used instead of "for..in" syntax since
this is what is used in the other MS languages.

--Troy


 
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

I like your subtle change on the "Subject" line. :^)
Quote
1. Unicode support in VCL for Win32 would have been a reality
Great! Sounds good to me!
Quote
because Borland would have leveraged their Windows monopoly to embrace and
extend Unicode to take over the world
I really don't care how or why it happens, as long as no one gets hurt.
Quote
2. Delphi users would be forced to use .NET and Win32 would be declared
dead
As long as we can port our VCL apps, I don't care. .NET is great!
--Troy
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

Troy,
If you want to see what that future would have looked like, go here and dig
around a while:
vb.mvps.org/vfred
Existing apps in VB(Visual Basic) (aka ClassicVB) are not convertable to .Net, and the
existing product is off support.
Also see classicvb.org
MS is interested in using developer tools to push their (more important)
platform technology market.
Dan (MS VB(Visual Basic) MVP 1993-2001)
VB R.I.P.
"Troy Wolbrink" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes
Quote
I like your subtle change on the "Subject" line. :^)

>1. Unicode support in VCL for Win32 would have been a reality

Great! Sounds good to me!

>because Borland would have leveraged their Windows monopoly to embrace
>and extend Unicode to take over the world

I really don't care how or why it happens, as long as no one gets hurt.

>2. Delphi users would be forced to use .NET and Win32 would be declared
>dead

As long as we can port our VCL apps, I don't care. .NET is great!

--Troy


 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

Quote
If you want to see what that future would have looked like, go here and
dig around a while:

vb.mvps.org/vfred

Existing apps in VB(Visual Basic) (aka ClassicVB) are not convertable to .Net, and the
existing product is off support.
I'm pretty sure there are different product teams at Microsoft. The people
to blame for the VB6 to VB.NET incompatibilites would be the VB.NET team at
Microsoft. They were the decision makers. Look at Visual C++. They have
the "It Just Works" compiler switch, and everything compiles to managed code
magically. Amazing! Apparently the Visual C++ team had a different set of
priorities. Why should we assume there's some high-level {*word*97} going
on in Microsoft that want to make all Win32 to .NET conversions difficult?
That doesn't make sense. If Microsoft wants everybody to adopt .NET why
would they make it difficult to get there, like with the VB(Visual Basic) team did? Give
it a rest with the gross generalizations and {*word*97} theories, please!
--Troy
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

"Troy Wolbrink" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes
Quote
>If you want to see what that future would have looked like, go here and
>dig around a while:
>
>vb.mvps.org/vfred
>
>Existing apps in VB(Visual Basic) (aka ClassicVB) are not convertable to .Net, and the
>existing product is off support.

I'm pretty sure there are different product teams at Microsoft. The
people to blame for the VB6 to VB.NET incompatibilites would be the VB.NET
team at Microsoft. They were the decision makers.
There are decision makers that create and maintain the team. This issue has
been discussed from bottom to top. Ballmer should never have heard my name,
but he has.
Quote
Look at Visual C++. They have the "It Just Works" compiler switch, and
everything compiles to managed code magically. Amazing! Apparently the
Visual C++ team had a different set of priorities.
Free clue: Had they done with C++ what they did with VB(Visual Basic) then MS would be a
hardware company selling mice, keyboards, and xboxes. By the way I did
offer to do just that. Now there's a language that screams for cleanup<g>.
Quote
Why should we assume there's some high-level {*word*97} going on in
Microsoft that want to make all Win32 to .NET conversions difficult?
No, they don't want to make all Win32 to .Net conversions difficult. That
is the one thing they missed here. Maybe you misunderstood what I was
saying.
The problem with VB(Visual Basic) is that they don't have any "skin in the game" in terms
of their own code assets. The people they put in charge of the product
don't use it or understand the user base. FWIW, in Beta1 of VB.Net they
even had the logical expression evaulation completely incompatible
Quote
That doesn't make sense. If Microsoft wants everybody to adopt .NET why
would they make it difficult to get there, like with the VB(Visual Basic) team did?
Excellent question, and a lot of people have been asking it. MS has been
stunned by the miserable uptake of VB.Net but it is too late for them to
gracefully do anything useful about it.
Quote
Give it a rest with the gross generalizations and {*word*97} theories,
please!
These aren't "gross generalizations and {*word*97} theories". They're facts
and experiences, from very close to the core of the problem, accumulated
over the 5/6 years that the decisions have been cast in stone.
The fact that MS uses developer tools to press their platfom agenda is not a
secret either. it is a corporate strategy that is worked well. VB(Visual Basic) is one of
the keys to the takeoff of Windows, for example. MSBasic didn't hurt the
DOS products either. Using those products with a "heads up" attitude about
that was fine.
Again, the problem with VB.Net (and with the incompatibilities of VB4
previously) were due, simply, to the fact that the team didn't realize what
they were doing to developers. They had the wrong folks on it, and they
took the wrong advice. For example, look at this quote from one of the
focus group participants (this quote is on a link from the page I referenced
prevously by the way).
"Drop backward compatibility altogether. Do us a favor; haven't you guys
learned the lesson of DOS? Backward compatibility cost us so much money over
the years. Break my code. Force me into getting rid of my old code if I want
to add VB7 features into my product." See page 7 of the link, which is the
entire interview.
You'd be really shocked at some of the quotes from current team members,
though not all of those are public.
Dan
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

Quote
>That doesn't make sense. If Microsoft wants everybody to adopt .NET why
>would they make it difficult to get there, like with the VB(Visual Basic) team did?

Excellent question, and a lot of people have been asking it. MS has been
stunned by the miserable uptake of VB.Net but it is too late for them to
gracefully do anything useful about it.
Lesson learned for MS. Perhaps they privately wish they made a different
decision, but hopefully they are stronger for it moving forward.
Quote
>Give it a rest with the gross generalizations and {*word*97} theories,
>please!

These aren't "gross generalizations and {*word*97} theories". They're
facts and experiences, from very close to the core of the problem,
accumulated over the 5/6 years that the decisions have been cast in stone.
I'm going to have to explore your site a bit more. I find it pretty
interesting how they fumbled so badly!
Quote
The fact that MS uses developer tools to press their platfom agenda is not
a secret either. it is a corporate strategy that is worked well.
Sure, I'd expect nothing less. But for a developer wanting to build
solutions for Windows, Microsoft's motivation should actually help my
situation as well as they improve their tools. It should be a win-win.
Atleast they seem to understand that it is all about "developers, developers,
developers". :^)
Quote
Again, the problem with VB.Net (and with the incompatibilities of VB4
previously) were due, simply, to the fact that the team didn't realize
what they were doing to developers.
You make a convincing case the the VB.NET leadership is out of touch with
real developers. But that is not helping MS, and I doubt MS would want to
emulate their bad choices into a newly acquired product. Just because they
made bad decisions with VB.NET regarding compatibility, I don't see the need
to automatically assume they would do the same with Delphi. Perhaps if MS
made similarly bad decisions with C++, their might be a pattern. I guess
time will tell with C# and J#.
--Troy
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

"Troy Wolbrink" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes
Quote
>>That doesn't make sense. If Microsoft wants everybody to adopt .NET why
>>would they make it difficult to get there, like with the VB(Visual Basic) team did?
>
>Excellent question, and a lot of people have been asking it. MS has been
>stunned by the miserable uptake of VB.Net but it is too late for them to
>gracefully do anything useful about it.

Lesson learned for MS. Perhaps they privately wish they made a different
decision, but hopefully they are stronger for it moving forward.
You'd think so. Unfortunately they continue to fumble, even today. I've
found it really amazing to watch. The same folks are making the decisions
and they're definitely not through "cleaning up" the language. VB.Net isn't
a bad language, it is just that you won't be able to count on your own code
working down the road. That makes it unusable for anything but "throw away"
code. that is actually OK if you're just doing {*word*218} miniapps, but for the
(literally) millions of devs that have mission critical, or "mission
serious" applications that is a real problem.
Quote
>>Give it a rest with the gross generalizations and {*word*97} theories,
>>please!
>
>These aren't "gross generalizations and {*word*97} theories". They're
>facts and experiences, from very close to the core of the problem,
>accumulated over the 5/6 years that the decisions have been cast in
>stone.

I'm going to have to explore your site a bit more. I find it pretty
interesting how they fumbled so badly!
It has been an amazing ride. As a VB(Visual Basic) cheerleader, and someone who has made
a really good living with MSBasic code since CP/M versions you can not imagine
the series of shocks folks like myself have been through.
Quote
>The fact that MS uses developer tools to press their platfom agenda is
>not a secret either. it is a corporate strategy that is worked well.

Sure, I'd expect nothing less. But for a developer wanting to build
solutions for Windows, Microsoft's motivation should actually help my
situation as well as they improve their tools. It should be a win-win.
Yea, and it had for a long time. They started stumbling when they started
moving folks into key positions who had no background on the community or
product. You may find this hard to believe, but I don't know of a single
key player who has any serious experience with ClassicVB (VB6 and before)
versions. Most sill don't even have much with VB.Net.
Quote
Atleast they seem to understand that it is all about "developers,
developers, developers". :^)
LOL. Yea, we've played that card. FWIW, the team *thought* they were
"helping" developers (though a few really just wanted to prove a point by
cleansing the language). Overall the team was surprised and disappointed by
the dismal uptake of VB.Net... even though most of the MVP's warned them in
the most vocal way we could. Yup, a large number of *MVP's* have loudly
protested, to no avail. No doubt you've run across this somewhere:
classicvb.org/
If you click on the "petition" link you will see that 263 Microsoft MVP's have
signed, and the total sigs have now passed 10,000. The sigs have been
validated, and teh MVP sigs have been double checked against rosters. We
wanted to make sure it was a valid process.
Quote
>Again, the problem with VB.Net (and with the incompatibilities of VB4
>previously) were due, simply, to the fact that the team didn't realize
>what they were doing to developers.

You make a convincing case the the VB.NET leadership is out of touch with
real developers. But that is not helping MS, and I doubt MS would want to
emulate their bad choices into a newly acquired product. Just because
they made bad decisions with VB.NET regarding compatibility, I don't see
the need to automatically assume they would do the same with Delphi.
Perhaps if MS made similarly bad decisions with C++, their might be a
pattern. I guess time will tell with C# and J#
You would think so, but if that was the case you'd think they would have
done something about this mess. They haven't.
I'm not an author, but stretched my own abilities <g>to try to explain what
the reprocussions were in 2001. This paper was well circulated within MS
and elsewhere: vb.mvps.org/tips/stability.asp
The strategy is to hope it "just goes way". You wouldn't belive teh
arrogance of the small core that is in charge of the language itself. Even
though (as I have stated here before) I still prefer Classic MS Basic (again,
apologies to my Delphi friends), I have lost confidence that they can manage
this process well enough for my own code safety. VB(Visual Basic) is dead for any serious
application. We decided some time back to move somewhere, then decided that
would be Delphi, if we couldn't get some direction change in the VB(Visual Basic) world.
We failed spectacularly. Making no headway with MS, after 4 years we
decided to pull the trigger on that move.
MS still doesn't "get it".
There be monsters there. Go at your own risk.
If Delphi went that route, you'd better hope that DavidI and team are locked
in *and* that they get to grow their own replacements over objection of any
MS guidance. That condition, of course, will never happen.
Dan
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

Quote
If Delphi went that route, you'd better hope that DavidI and team are
locked
in *and* that they get to grow their own replacements over objection of
any MS guidance. That condition, of course, will never happen.
Dan, I have to admit, that you've definitely made me think twice about this!
In Zarko Gajic's poll the other day, I voted for MS to be the new DevCo. I
now prefer the current Delphi RnD developers to own the new company. Not
only would they be the most "in touch" with the development community
(clearly an important point as illustrated by VB.NET), but I am certain that
if each employee was working for a company they owned, they'd be motivated
to make the best decisions possible and to build the best product possible.
I still stand by my original post in regards to certain positive influences
MS may have had on Delphi. MS isn't all bad, and has in fact been a leader
in promoting the use of Unicode (one of my pet topics -
www.tntware.com/delphicontrols/) for developing world-ready apps. A
source of frustration for me has been Borland's lack of prioritization for
Unicode support in the VCL and RTL (because of "limited resources"), and yet
pouring tons of resources into Kylix. I feel like they left the VCL for
Win32 half done, then moved on to other platforms, spreading themselves out
way too thin. I highly value quality over quantity (and suspect most
developers have this same philosophy). I hope the new DevCo will have the
desire and freedom to keep quality as the priority.
--Troy
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

I understand your feelings, and I shared them for a very long time. In
fact, I didn't give up on MS actually fixing this issue for several years.
During that time I wasn't sitting back and "wishing" for a solution, I was
working with others quite actively to get MS to do something.
I've done quite well with MS developer products since the early 1980's.
Unfortunately their internal issues, and their overall strategy, eventually
caught up with the situation.
We all have to keep in mind that MS does *not* make significant money off
their developer products. In fact a huge portion of it is made with Office.
As we discussed earlier, their developer products are used to help drive all
sorts of things. In addition, VB(Visual Basic) contains virtually no Basic code
internally.
Delphi, on the other hand, contains a lot of Delphi code. The developers
*have* to be familiar with it and the company has a significant stake in the
stability of the language. What's more, until Borland (and Inprise) struck
out on other things the product strategy centered around the *developer*
product. Now that Delphi will be separated back out I am confident that the
strategy will again be focused on the developer product and the developers.
Likely that will mean that Delphi will continue to support a .Net strategy,
but it also means that if the developer market requires a native product (or
x64 or Linux or Mac) the company will look at the *developer* market to make
its decisions. MS is not doing that right now, and likely won't. MS will
not even rev native VB(Visual Basic) even though they have 5 or 6 million developers not
moving to .Net. There is a great big clue there.
Later,
Dan
"Troy Wolbrink" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes
Quote

>If Delphi went that route, you'd better hope that DavidI and team are
>locked
>in *and* that they get to grow their own replacements over objection of
>any MS guidance. That condition, of course, will never happen.

Dan, I have to admit, that you've definitely made me think twice about
this! In Zarko Gajic's poll the other day, I voted for MS to be the new
DevCo. I now prefer the current Delphi RnD developers to own the new
company. Not only would they be the most "in touch" with the development
community (clearly an important point as illustrated by VB.NET), but I'm
certain that if each employee was working for a company they owned, they'd
be motivated to make the best decisions possible and to build the best
product possible.

I still stand by my original post in regards to certain positive
influences MS may have had on Delphi. MS isn't all bad, and has in fact
been a leader in promoting the use of Unicode (one of my pet topics -
www.tntware.com/delphicontrols/) for developing world-ready apps.
A source of frustration for me has been Borland's lack of prioritization
for Unicode support in the VCL and RTL (because of "limited resources"),
and yet pouring tons of resources into Kylix. I feel like they left the
VCL for Win32 half done, then moved on to other platforms, spreading
themselves out way too thin. I highly value quality over quantity (and
suspect most developers have this same philosophy). I hope the new DevCo
will have the desire and freedom to keep quality as the priority.

--Troy

 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

"Dan Barclay" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>wrote
Quote

MS will not even rev native VB(Visual Basic) even though they have 5 or 6 million
developers not moving to .Net. There is a great big clue there.
So where are all these 5 or 6 million developers who not moving to .Net
going? Doesn't seem that more than a handful have come to Delphi. Heck if
even say 5-10% had made the move my bet is that Borland would be more Delphi
and less ALM focused than it is today. The inability to attract hordes of VB
(and would be VB) developers has been the bane of Delphi going back to it's
early days when it was touted as the "VB Killer". Even Kylix was hoping to
attract 1-2 million VB(Visual Basic) developers to become customers when they switched to
Linux but then few if any VB(Visual Basic) developers even switched to Linux.
And now the final straw is that even Classic VB(Visual Basic) developers are not switching
thus Delphi is on the block to be sold. Oh if there were only more folks
like the Barclay Bros willing to make the big switch. Many-many times you
have told us your reason for jumping ship but can you tell us why there
hasn't been tens of thousands who also felt the same way and came over to
Delphi? One could even claim that the present predicament is all the fault
of those reluctant VB(Visual Basic) developers.<g>
Eip
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

Dan Barclay writes:
Quote
MS has been stunned by the miserable uptake of VB.Net
Inconcievable!
--
Dave Nottage [TeamB]
Have questions?: www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
Want answers?: support.borland.com
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

"I.P. Nichols" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes
Quote
"Dan Barclay" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>wrote
>
>MS will not even rev native VB(Visual Basic) even though they have 5 or 6 million
>developers not moving to .Net. There is a great big clue there.

So where are all these 5 or 6 million developers who not moving to .Net
going?
Good question. From my observation most are just staying where they are for
now. it is such a hurdle to move to VB.Net they aren't moving. Likewise
it's a real hurdle to move anywhere else.
Quote
Doesn't seem that more than a handful have come to Delphi. Heck if
even say 5-10% had made the move my bet is that Borland would be more
Delphi
and less ALM focused than it is today.
That's my assessment as well, but it would take real initiative to pull them
in. That initiative has not been there with Delphi. I have done my own
assessment and have decided to move this way. Unfortunately, for most
people, doing that kind of longer range planning is difficult. As we put it
down here "When you're up to your ass in alligators it is hard to remember
your objective is to drain the swamp." Note that I am NOT talking about
marketeer initiative. Hell, I wouldn't market to them until I had the
barriers out of the way.
Quote
The inability to attract hordes of VB
(and would be VB) developers has been the bane of Delphi going back to
it's
early days when it was touted as the "VB Killer". Even Kylix was hoping to
attract 1-2 million VB(Visual Basic) developers to become customers when they switched
to
Linux but then few if any VB(Visual Basic) developers even switched to Linux.
IMHO, if they made it easer for VB(Visual Basic) users to transition both developers and
code they would come. The word would spread and it would happen. That was
*not* true 5 years ago. Back then, even if it was easy to move, I wouldn't
have considered it myself. VB(Visual Basic) was a fine, safe, place to be... so far as we
knew<g>.
Now, imho, there is only the problem of removing the barriers. I can tell
you that it is a *real* pain in the ass to transition, and a lot in Delphi
doesn't help (note coming transition<g>)... speaking of Help <sigh>.
Quote
And now the final straw is that even Classic VB(Visual Basic) developers are not
switching
thus Delphi is on the block to be sold.
Borland was not interested in making this happen, though I think some
individuals were. If it happened that would be fine, but it was clear to me
that Borland wasn't going to put *any* resource into making it happen. That
will never work.
Note also that a very large number of the VB(Visual Basic) devs I know are not "large
shops". They're individuals or small shops... not even on the radar for
Borland even if they were *Delphi* users.
Quote
Oh if there were only more folks
like the Barclay Bros willing to make the big switch. Many-many times you
have told us your reason for jumping ship but can you tell us why there
hasn't been tens of thousands who also felt the same way and came over to
Delphi? One could even claim that the present predicament is all the fault
of those reluctant VB(Visual Basic) developers.<g>
I've explained my own thoughts on that nearly as many times as I've
explained my own reason for jumping ship. I will not repeat all of it, but my
comments above point to the highlights. Search this ng for other.
The bottom line is that DelphiCo needs to help *leverage* the VB(Visual Basic) developers'
VB knowledge in learning Delphi. Adding code conversion tools would be a
big help as well. Right now they (we) are starting over again from nearly
dead scratch. At the same time, those with successful applications (the
ones you really want to come) are still up to our asses in VB(Visual Basic) alligators as
we keep our apps moving forward.
But then I am just a dumb ol' country boy. WTF do I know about marketeering
or strategic planning.
Dan
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

In article <43f89846$XXXX@XXXXX.COM>,
"Dave Nottage [TeamB]" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes:
Quote
Inconcievable!
That Microsoft would poison both cups?
--
-David
Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

Dan Barclay writes:
Quote
"I.P. Nichols" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes
news:43f861ee$XXXX@XXXXX.COM...
>"Dan Barclay" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>wrote
>>MS will not even rev native VB(Visual Basic) even though they have 5 or 6 million
>>developers not moving to .Net. There is a great big clue there.
>So where are all these 5 or 6 million developers who not moving to .Net
>going?

Good question. From my observation most are just staying where they are for
now. it is such a hurdle to move to VB.Net they aren't moving. Likewise
it's a real hurdle to move anywhere else.
Then I wonder why the user base of VB.NET is 3 times as large as the C#
user base (counted only the MS userbase) ?
And another thing that makes me wonder, why there are about 10.000 who
have signed the online petition to get them back VB.classic and not 5-6
million ?
IMHO if these 5-6 million want Borland (or the company taking over the
IDEs) to ease VB(Visual Basic) migration, they should somehow make Borland aware that
there is such a need, some developers stating that there is is possibly
not enough (to convince the decision makers).
Andre
 

Re: If Borland had owned Windows for many years now...

Andre Kaufmann writes:
Quote
And another thing that makes me wonder, why there are about 10.000
who have signed the online petition to get them back VB.classic and
not 5-6 million ?
Possibly because most users couldn't be bothered as they saw it as a
lost cause, and perhaps many didn't even know of the petition?
--
Dave Nottage [TeamB]
Have questions?: www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
Want answers?: support.borland.com